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Published January 4, 2024

Best Credit Cards in Canada With Airport Lounge Access

The best credit cards with airport lounge access do much more than grant entry to a coveted airport oasis — they’re often chock-full of additional perks for travellers and everyday spenders alike.

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Airport lounges are a refuge from the tiresome tumult of air travel. Whether for business or pleasure, air travel can be hectic. Traffic jams, security queues and flight delays add to an already energy-sapping experience.

Fortunately, these coveted airport oases are not as exclusive as you think — you just need a credit card that will grant you entry. Check out NerdWallet’s list of the best credit cards with airport lounge access to help find the right one for you.

Best Canada’s credit cards with airport lounge access

Best for: Those who prefer to fly Air Canada.

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Credit Card


$599

20.99% / 22.99%

1.25x-2x Points

Up to 85,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card comes with strong travel insurance and perks, plus healthy earn rates on everyday purchases.

Pros
  • Complimentary Visa Airport Companion membership with six airport lounge visits included each year.
  • Tons of airport perks, including priority check-ins, boarding, baggage handling, airport upgrades, and airport standby.


Cons
  • Substantial annual fee.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $2,900 in value† including up to 85,000 Aeroplan points (enough for a round trip to Honolulu†) and additional travel benefits. Conditions Apply. Account must be approved by June 3, 2024.
  • Earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 Aeroplan points when you make your first purchase with your new card†.
  • Earn an additional 40,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $10,000 within 180 days of Account opening†.
  • Plus, earn a one-time anniversary bonus of 25,000 Aeroplan points when you spend $15,000 within 12 months of Account opening†.
  • Earn 2 points† for every $1 spent on eligible purchases made direct through Air Canada® purchases (including Air Canada Vacations®).
  • Earn 1.5 points† for every $1 spent on eligible gas, grocery, travel and dining purchases.
  • Earn 1.25 points† for every $1 spent on all other purchases made with your Card.
  • Earn points twice when you pay with your Card and provide your Aeroplan number at over 150 Aeroplan partner brands and at 170+ online retailers via the Aeroplan eStore.
  • Global Airport Lounge Access†: Receive a complimentary membership to the Visa Airport Companion† Program hosted by Dragonpass International Ltd. and take advantage of six lounge visits included for each Cardholder per membership year at over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. Enroll through the Visa Airport Companion App or through visaairportcompanion.ca
  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge† : On-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Visa Infinite Concierge can help with any Cardholder request — big or small, to help you get the most out of life whenever you travel, shop and use your Card.
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection†: Receive seven exclusive benefits when you book your stay through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection featuring over 900 of the world’s most intriguing properties. Enjoy an additional 8th benefit at over 200 properties, exclusively for Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders.
  • Travel Medical Insurance†: Up to $5 million of coverage for the first 31 days. If you or your spouse is aged 65 or older, you are covered for the first 4 days of your trip. Additional top-up coverage is available.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance†: For Trip Cancellation coverage of up to $2,500 per insured person, with a maximum of $5,000 for all insured persons, and for Trip Interruption coverage of up to $5,000 per insured person, with a maximum of $25,000 for all insured persons on the same covered trip.
  • Flight/Trip Delay Insurance†: Up to $1,000 in coverage per insured person if your flight/trip is delayed for over 4 hours.
  • Delayed and Lost Baggage Insurance†: For delayed baggage over 4 hours, up to $1,000 of coverage per insured person for the purchase of essentials, such as clothing and toiletries. For lost baggage, up to $2,500 of coverage per insured person.
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance†: Up to $500,000 of coverage for covered losses while travelling on a common carrier (for example, a bus, ferry, plane, train or auto rental).
  • Save time at the border with NEXUS: Enroll for a NEXUS and once every 48 months get an application fee rebate (up to $100 CAD)†. Additional Cardholders can also take advantage of this NEXUS rebate.
  • To be eligible, $150,000 annual personal income or $200,000 household annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • †Terms and conditions apply.
  • This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.
  • The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete and current information on any TD product, please click the Apply Now button.

Air Canada enthusiasts, this one’s for you. The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card earns Aeroplan points which can be redeemed for free flights, among other rewards. When you fly Air Canada, you can relax before takeoff courtesy of complimentary access to any Maple Leaf Lounge. Plus, this card also offers priority check-in, boarding, and baggage handling on Air Canada flights.

Best for: American Express Global Lounge access.

The Platinum Card® from American Express


$799

Varies

1x-2x Points

Up to 100,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

This precision-cut and engraved metal Platinum Card boasts a generous intro offer, strong earn rates on rewards, and an impressive array of premium benefits and perks.

Pros
  • From special reservations to insider tips, you can enhance your travel experiences with complimentary, personalized service from Platinum Concierge — available 24/7.
  • Benefit from a full suite of Platinum-level travel perks, such as worldwide airport lounge access, the Global Dining Collection, and more.


Cons
  • Unless you plan to travel a lot, it may be difficult to offset the high $799 annual fee.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • Unlock special experiences with the Platinum Card®.
  • Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points – that’s up to $1,000 towards a weekend away.
  • New Platinum® Cardmembers, earn 70,000 Welcome Bonus points after you charge $10,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn 30,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible dining and food delivery in Canada, 2points for every $1 in Card purchases on eligible travel, and 1 point for every $1 in all other Card purchases.
  • Access a $200 Annual Travel Credit through American Express Travel Online or Platinum® Card Travel Service.
  • Enjoy a $200 Annual Dining Credit at some of Canada’s best restaurants.
  • Unlock $200 or more in additional value with Member extras. You can earn statement credits for qualifying purchases with participating brands.
  • Take full advantage of The American Express Global Lounge Collection™ which unlocks access to over 1300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes The Centurion® Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges designed to enhance your travel experience.
  • Enjoy flexible ways to use your points such as statement credits for any eligible purchase charged to your Card, new travel purchases booked on American Express Travel Online through the Flexible Points Travel Program, and eligible flights through the Fixed Points Travel Program.
  • Transfer points 1:1 to several frequent flyer and other loyalty programs.
  • Enjoy complimentary benefits that offer an average value of $750 CAD at over 1,300 extraordinary properties worldwide when you book Fine Hotels + Resorts.
  • Platinum Cardmembers can enjoy access to special events and unique opportunities.
  • Enjoy premium benefits at the Toronto Pearson Airport.
  • You will also have access to many leading hotel and car rental companies’ loyalty programs. Our partners include Marriott International, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Hertz and Avis.
  • Interest applies in accordance with your Cardmember Agreement, Information Box, and Disclosure statement if the total New Balance is not paid by the Payment Due Date each month. All payments must be received by the Payment Due Date shown on the monthly statement.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

Combining flash and substance, the metallic American Express Platinum Card has a lot to offer, including annual travel credits, comprehensive travel insurance and access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which grants entry to over 1,300 lounges around the globe.

Travelling through Toronto Pearson International Airport? Take advantage of priority security lanes and complimentary valet service.

Read our review. 

Best for: Priority Pass lounge access.

Scotiabank Platinum American Express® Card


$399

9.99%

2x Points

Up to 60,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

With low rates and a generous rewards program, the Scotiabank Platinum American Express card is a unicorn for frequent travellers seeking luxury perks, premier travel benefits and exceptional interest rates on purchases and cash advances.

Pros
  • Low interest rates, no foreign transaction fees, and an impressive insurance package that includes comprehensive travel insurance coverage and newly-added mobile device insurance.
  • Luxury travel privileges include 10 free VIP airport lounge visits per year with a complimentary Priority Pass membership.


Cons
  • The $399 annual fee is quite a bit higher than other rewards cards, but frequent travellers seeking a low rate on purchases and cash advances can easily make the yearly cost worthwhile.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $2,100* in value in your first 14 months, including up to 60,000* bonus Scene+ points. Offer ends October 31, 2024.
  • You will not pay 2.5% foreign transaction fees on any foreign currency purchases, including online shopping and when travelling abroad. Only the exchange rate applies.
  • Earn 2X Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD you spend on all your eligible purchases.
  • Scene+ points can be redeemed for travel purchase, merchandise and other non-travel rewards such as gift cards and prepaid cards.
  • You must redeem a minimum of 5,000 points per travel-related rewards redemption, equivalent to $50 in travel savings. Points must be redeemed within 12 months of the purchase date.
  • $399 annual fee.
  • Redeem points for any flight, any time through Scene+ Travel, a full-service travel agency. Plus, take advantage of a best price guarantee on airfare.
  • Get a Hertz #1 Club Gold membership for special privileges and rental car benefits at over 8,500 locations in 147 countries.
  • Enjoy culinary events and experiences, entertainment, luxury fashion, tours, and more through American Express benefits, including American Express Invites, Platinum VIP offers and access to 24/7 premium concierge services for restaurant reservations, show tickets, and gift purchases.
  • Lounge access at over 600 VIP airport lounges around the world with a complimentary Priority Pass membership, which includes 10 free visits per year.
  • 12 types of insurance provided, including 31-day travel medical benefits — up to $2 million in coverage — for you, your spouse and any dependent children under the age of 65. 10-day coverage available for those over the age of 65.
  • Preferred rates: 9.99% for purchases, 9.99% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

The Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card earns Scene+ points with accelerated rates on purchases made through the Scene+ travel portal. It boasts no foreign transaction fees and ten complimentary airport lounge passes annually.

It’s missing a few travel perks offered by its competitors, like priority boarding and free checked bags. However, it’s a low-rate card, which is a solid point in its favour, especially if you typically carry a balance on your credit card.

Read our review.

Best for: Visa Airport Companion Program lounge access.

Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card


$150

20.99% / 22.99%

1x-3x Points

Up to 35,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card offers competitive earn rates and easy-to-understand redemption on travel — 1 point equals 1 cent in travel savings.

Pros
  • Complimentary Visa Airport Companion Program membership, with six free airport lounge visits included every year, which is more than typically included with a credit card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.


Cons
  • The accelerated rate on travel purchases only lasts three months — but you can earn up to 42,500 points, worth $425 in travel savings.
  • The annual $1,000 bonus requires you to spend $40,000 per year on everyday spending on the card.
Product Details
  • Earn up to $1,100+ in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived on your first supplementary card. Offer Ends January 3, 2024.
  • The only major bank credit card offering you no foreign transaction fees, including for shopping online or abroad.
  • Your Award Winning Card For Travel.
  • Earn 2 Scene+ points on every $1 you spend on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis and more).
  • Earn 1 Scene+ point on every $1 you spend on all other eligible purchases.
  • You’ll earn 3X Scene+ points for each dollar charged to your account on all eligible purchases¹ at Sobeys, IGA, Safeway, Foodland, FreshCo, Voilà by Sobeys, Voilà by IGA, Voilà by Safeway, Chalo! FreshCo, Thrifty Foods, IGA West, Les Marchés TradItIon, Rachelle Béry and Co-Op.
  • Airport lounge access through complimentary Visa Airport Companion Program membership, plus six complimentary lounge visits per year from the date of enrollment, providing you with access to 1,200+ airport lounges globally, including participating Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • Visa Infinite* benefits including Visa Infinite Concierge, Visa Infinite* Luxury Hotel Collection, Visa Infinite* Dining Series, and Entertainment & Lifestyle Offers.
  • Access to Scotia SelectPay™.
  • To be eligible, $60,000 (individual) or $100,000 (household) annual income is required, or a minimum assets under management of $250,000. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.
  • Terms and Conditions Apply. Click ‘Apply Now’ for complete details.

The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card earns Scene+ points, which — given the program’s myriad of redemption options — makes this card a solid pick for everyday spenders. But this card is also a practical pick for travellers, thanks to its robust travel insurance coverage. The cherry on top? No foreign transaction fees.

As far as lounge access is concerned, the Visa Airport Companion Program gets cardholders into over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including Plaza Premium lounges, with six lounge passes annually.  

Best for: Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass lounge access.

BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard®


$150

20.99% / 23.99%

1x-5x Points

Up to 90,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* comes with a high base rate on rewards, a healthy return on travel spending, premium travel perks and an extensive travel insurance package.

Pros
  • Free membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, plus four free passes a year.
  • Earn 2x bonus points and save up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car locations.


Cons
  • You can’t transfer your BMO Reward points to frequent flyer or loyalty programs, but you can earn frequent flyer miles on your flight.
  • No travel medical coverage for cardmembers over the age of 65.
Product Details
  • Welcome offer: Get up to 90,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*
  • 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
  • Now get the highest rewards points for travel of any premium flexible travel card in Canada!†
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes.
  • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges.*
  • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services.
  • Points you can use to cover all flight charges & taxes.*
  • Fly on any airline, with no blackout dates.*
  • Best-in-class travel and medical insurance (unlimited trips per year).*
  • BMO Concierge Service.*
  • Unlock Mastercard Travel Rewards cashback offers when you travel and shop outside of Canada.
  • *Terms and conditions apply.
  • †Statement based on a comparison of the redeemable value of the non-promotional travel rewards points earned on premium flexible Canadian credit cards as of May 3, 2022. “Flexible” is defined as points earned when you purchase travel anywhere and “premium” refers to cards with an annual fee of ≤ $150 or has an income requirement of ≤ $150,000 annual individual income.
  • BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

The BMO Ascend World Elite Card was made with travel bugs in mind, offering travel and medical insurance coverage alongside five times the BMO Rewards points on travel spending. Membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass is complementary with benefits that include exclusive airport restaurant discounts and four lounge passes annually.

Best for: Travellers who frequently fly to the United States.

CIBC Aventura® Visa Infinite Privilege* Card


$499

20.99% / 22.99%

1.25x-3x Points

Up to 80,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

A metal credit card equipped with all the bells and whistles of a high-end travel card: accelerated points on travel spending, air fare redemption options, airport lounge access and more.

Pros
  • Six complimentary airport lounge visits, two NEXUS application fee rebates every four years, and a $200 annual travel credit.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance includes $5 million of out-of-province emergency travel medical coverage — 31-days for ages 65 and younger, and up to 10-days for ages 65 or older. You don’t even have to charge your trip to the card.
  • Flexible redemption options with points that never expire.


Cons
  • Steep $499 annual fee.
  • High annual income requirement of $150,000 per individual or $200,000 per household.
Product Details
  • Earn 25,000 Aventura Points when you spend $3,000 or more in the first 4 monthly statement periods. Earn 25,000 Aventura Points when you spend $6,000 or more in the first 4 monthly statement periods. Earn 30,000 Aventura Points as an additional anniversary bonus.
  • Effective July 1, 2022: Receive 6 complimentary visits at 1,200+ lounges globally through Visa Airport Companion Program: over $250 value. Get a $200 annual Travel Credit. Plus, get a NEXUS™ Application Fee rebate: a $100 value.
  • Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on travel purchased through the CIBC Rewards Centre.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 spent on eligible dining, entertainment, transportation, gas, electric vehicle charging, and groceries.
  • Earn 1.25 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 1.25 Aventura Points for every $4.00 spent on a CIBC Global Money Transfer™. There are no transaction fees and no interest charged as long as the balance is paid by the payment due date.
  • Redeem points for airline tickets, merchandise, gift cards and more.
  • Apply points toward a CIBC Aventura credit card balance or select CIBC financial products.
  • $499 annual fee.
  • Unwind at the airport in a relaxing lounge with 6 complimentary visits at 1,200+ lounges globally through Visa Airport Companion Program. Speed up border crossings with 2 NEXUS application fee rebates every 4 years.
  • Access business class bookings exclusive to this card for a future getaway.
  • Enjoy dedicated taxi and limo services, exclusive dining and wine experiences, VIP benefits at luxury hotels and more with Visa Infinite Privilege.
  • Get up to 25% off auto rentals at participating Avis® and Budget® locations worldwide when you pay with your Aventura card.
  • Link a Journie Rewards card to save on every fill-up at participating Pioneer, Fas Gas, Ultramar and Chevron gas stations.
  • Preferred rates: 20.99% for purchases, 22.99% for cash advances (21.99% for cash advances if you live in Quebec).
  • To be eligible, $150,000 (individual) or $200,000 (household) annual income is required. Also, you must have a Canadian credit file and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live.

The CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card is one of few metal credit cards in Canada but has much to offer beyond its sleek exterior. Cardholders get six lounge passes annually via the Visa Airport Companion Program, which opens the doors to over 1,200 lounges worldwide.

The card also offers a host of enticing perks, like rental car discounts, 10 cents off per litre at the pumps and exclusive dining and wine experiences. And those who frequently travel south of the border can take advantage of two NEXUS application fee rebates every four years.

Best for: Business travellers.

Business Platinum Card® from American Express


$799

Varies

1.25x Points

Up to 120,000 Points
Our Take
Why we like it

Some smaller businesses might balk at the high annual fee, but you get what you pay for with the Business Platinum Card from American Express: a large welcome bonus, flexibility in how you cash in rewards and a bevy of exclusive travel perks.

Pros
  • Make the most of your cash flow with no pre-set spending limit, flexible payment options, up to 55 interest-free days, and plenty of account management tools.
  • A full suite of insurance and premium travel perks, including airport lounge access, premium airport transfer services.
  • A referral program that could score cardmembers up to 225,000 bonus Membership Rewards points a year.


Cons
  • A high annual fee for both the primary card and any additional cards.
  • No introductory earn rate to help maximize rewards.
  • American Express may not be accepted by the suppliers and service providers your business works with.
Product Details
  • Redefine what you’ll experience and discover with Platinum.
  • Earn up to 120,000 bonus Membership Rewards® points.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you charge $15,000 in net purchases to your Card in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
  • Plus, earn 40,000 points when you make a purchase between 14 and 17 months of Cardmembership.
  • That’s up to $1,200 in statement credit that can be reinvested in your business.
  • Earn points that you can redeem in a variety of ways.
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for virtually every $1 in purchases and get the most out of your business expenses.
  • Enjoy an exceptional line-up of rewards redemption options for you and your business, including travel, dining, entertainment, gift cards, merchandise, and more with Membership Rewards program.
  • Transfer points to frequent flyer and hotel programs, including one-to-one to Aeroplan®* and Avios.
  • Bolster your business with up to $820 in annual business and travel statement credits.
  • Enroll your eligible Card and earn up to $500 in business statement credits on qualifying purchases with Dell and Indeed.
  • Enroll and earn up to $120 in eligible Wireless Credits each year.
  • Access a $200 Annual Travel Credit each year of your Cardmembership.
  • Unlock spending power and payment flexibility with a full suite of business management tools that give you more control over your business – anytime and anywhere.
  • Enjoy financial flexibility with no pre-set spending limit on purchases. With this Card, your purchasing power adjusts dynamically with your Card usage, and can grow over time, as long as you make your payments on time and maintain a good credit history.
  • Maximize your cash flow with up to 55 interest free days so you can keep more cash on hand when you need it most.
  • Pay for business expenses over time with Flexible Payment Option.
  • This charge Card has both Due in Full and Flexible Payment Option balances. All Due in Full balances must be paid each month. Interest rate of 30% applies to each delinquent Due in Full Charge. This rate is effective from the day the account is opened. The Preferred rate of 20.99% applies to your Flexible Payment Option balance. If you have 2 separate Missed Payments in a 12 month period, the Flexible Payment Option rate for your account will be 25.99%. If you have 3 or more separate Missed Payments in a 12 month period, the Flexible Payment Option rate will be 28.99%. These rates are effective from the day the Flexible Payment Option is first available on your account.
  • Extend payment solutions with Supplementary Cards for your employees.
  • Enjoy special benefits for you and your business.
  • Take full advantage of the American Express Global Lounge Collection which unlocks access to over 1300 airport lounges worldwide. This includes The Centurion® Lounge network, Plaza Premium Lounges, and hundreds of other domestic and international lounges designed to enhance your travel experience.
  • Enjoy premium benefits at the Toronto Pearson Airport, including access to the Pearson Priority Security Lane and discount on parking.
  • Get access to discounted base fares for you and your travel companions when you book through the International Airline Program.
  • Enjoy access to specialty services and events, preferential treatment, and a dedicated Concierge team.
  • Enjoy Fine Hotels + Resorts benefits at over 1,300 properties worldwide like guaranteed late check-out, complimentary breakfast for two, and more with Business Platinum.
  • Access a $100 CAD credit for NEXUS every 4 years with your Cardmembership.
  • American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information, click the Apply Now link. If you apply and get approved for an American Express Card, NerdWallet may receive compensation from American Express, which can be in the form of monetary payment.

The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a business charge card rife with travel perks. It earns American Express Membership Rewards points and offers entry to Plaza Premium lounges, the Delta Sky Club and the prestigious Centurion Lounge, to name a few.

This business card also comes with complimentary airport transfers, discounts and upgrades on rental vehicles and free valet service at Pearson Airport. All told, the Amex Business Platinum is a feature-rich card and a solid option for businesses that travel for work.

Methodology to choose the best credit cards with airport lounge access

NerdWallet Canada selects the best credit cards with airport lounge access based on overall consumer value. Airport lounge access was a baseline requirement for all the credit cards on this list, but additional features were also considered. Factors in our evaluation methodology include each card’s annual fee, foreign transaction fees, rewards earning rates, ease of use, redemption options, domestic and international acceptance, promotional APR period, bonus offers, insurance offers, and cardholder perks such as priority boarding, free checked bags, fee rebates and more.

    SUMMARY: THE BEST CREDIT CARDS WITH LOUNGE ACCESS

    CARD NAMECATEGORYANNUAL FEEINTRO OFFER
    TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card.Best for those who prefer to fly Air Canada.$599.Up to 85,000 Points.
    Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card.Best for Visa Airport Companion Program lounge access.$150.Up to 35,000 Points.
    The Platinum Card from American Express.Best for American Express Global Lounge Collection access.$799.Up to 100,000 Points.
    Scotiabank Platinum American Express Card.Best for Priority Pass airport lounge access.$399.Up to 60,000 Points.
    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard.Best for airport lounge access through Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass.$150.Up to 90,000 Points.
    CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card.Best for travellers who frequently fly to the United States.$499.Up to 80,000 Points.
    Business Platinum Card from American Express.Best for business travellers.$799.Up to 120,000 Points.

    What to know about credit cards with airport lounge access

    Lounge passes are only the tip of the iceberg for a credit card with luxurious travel perks. Comprehensive insurance coverage, priority boarding and free checked bags are offered by a number of these well-equipped credit cards. That said, cards loaded with bells and whistles typically have steep annual fees.

    What to know about airport lounge access

    Airport lounges come in all shapes and sizes but tend to offer a similar array of amenities. Here are some luxurious perks you might expect to enjoy when visiting an airport lounge: 

    Generally speaking, pay-per-use lounges have fewer amenities thancompared to airline lounges that require membership access. Additionally, hours of operation vary; some lounges are open 24 hours a day, while others have set open and close times.

    To enter a lounge, you must typically

    show your lounge membership card or credit card alongside a valid piece of ID and a boarding pass. If you’re not a member and don’t have a credit card with airport lounge access, you may be able to purchase a single-use pass to enter the lounge.

    » CHECK OUT: Popular loyalty programs for Canadians who love to travel

    How long can you spend in an airport lounge?

    Check your credit card or lounge program for terms and conditions. Some passes only permit you to stay in the lounge for several hours. Other passes may offer longer stays.  

    Can you bring your own food into an airport lounge?

    Some lounges may allow you to bring your food into an airport lounge. If you’re unsure, check with your lounge access program or ask the lounge staff when you arrive. 

    Do you tip at airport lounges? 

    Tipping at airport lounges is at the visitor’s discretion. The type of service offered within the lounge may be a factor. Lounge location, company policy and local culture may also be worth considering.

    Airport lounge access programs at a glance

    Number of global loungesBenefits
    Visa Airport CompanionOver 1,200.• Exclusive discounts on airport dining and retail.
    • Elevated status at Sandman and Sutton Place Hotels.
    • Access to Plaza Premium lounges worldwide.
    Priority PassOver 1,500.• Detailed airport guides.
    • Discounts on airport shopping, dining, and spa experiences worldwide.
    • Access to Air France - KLM Lounges, Aspire Lounges, Club Lounges, Swissport Lounges, No1 Lounges and more.
    American Express Global Lounge CollectionOver 1,400.• Access to Centurion Lounges, International American Express Lounges, Plaza Premium Lounges, Delta Sky Club Lounges, Escape Lounges and more.
    Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPassOver 1,300.• Ability to skip lines and fast-track through airport security.
    • Exclusive airport restaurant discounts.
    • Global airport transfer vehicle booking.
    • Access to Plaza Premium Lounges, Air France - KLM Lounges, Marhaba Lounges, Aspire Lounges and more.
    LoungePassOver 600.• Ability to prebook airport lounge passes for a fee at Aspire Lounges, Club Lounges, Air France - KLM Lounges, Star Alliance Lounges and more.

    Types of airport lounge networks

    Airport lounge access credit cards in Canada may offer access to one or more airport lounge programs.

    Priority Pass

    With over 1,500 lounges in its collection, Priority Pass is one of the world’s most prominent airport lounge networks.

    Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey

    Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey is similar to Priority Pass, but its lounge network is marginally smaller. Many World Elite Mastercards include Mastercard Airport Experience by LoungeKey via a set number of free annual passes.

    Maple Leaf Lounge

    The Maple Leaf Lounge program is owned and operated by Air Canada. Lounge access is typically limited to Aeroplan members, select Aeroplan credit card holders and those with an Air Canada business class boarding pass.

    Maple Leaf Lounges can be found in 17 airports across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

    American Express Centurion Lounges

    There are no American Express Centurion Lounges in Canada, but American Express Platinum cardholders can access these lounges when they fly internationally. Centurion Lounges are located in Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Stockholm, London, Sao Paulo and Mexico City, among other destinations.

    3 ways to get access to an airport lounge

    There’s no need to sneak in — there’s more than one way to get into an airport lounge.

    1. Get a credit card that includes lounge access

    Some credit cards, such as the ones featured above, partner with airport lounge programs to offer lounge access. This access can range from unlimited entry for you and a travel companion to a set number of lounge passes annually. Be sure to read the fine print to know what type of airport lounge access the card offers.

    Some cards only offer entry to a specific chain of airport lounges, like Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge. Other programs, like Priority Pass, let you access numerous lounge chains worldwide.  

    2. Purchase an annual membership

    Without a credit card that comes with airport lounge access, you have the option to buy an annual membership. For example, Priority Pass charges $469 USD annually for unlimited access to its 1,500 lounges worldwide. 

    Annual lounge passes can be pricey, but the cost may be worth the comfort and convenience if you’re a frequent flier.

    3. Buy a lounge day pass

    If you don’t fly often, the cost of an annual lounge pass may not be practical. Instead, you might want to consider single-use lounge passes. As the name suggests, these passes offer one-time airport lounge entry and are a cost-effective alternative to annual passes.

    Day passes are also an option for those who’ve used up their allotted number of annual lounge passes through their credit card.

    Is it better to get a credit card with lounge access or buy passes?

    Whether it’s better to get a credit card that offers lounge access or purchase passes depends on a number of factors, including how frequently you fly and your financial situation. For example, buying a single-use pass to a Plaza Premium Lounge in Toronto’s Pearson Airport costs about $66. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card has a $150 annual fee but comes with six complimentary airport lounge passes annually, which includes access to Plaza Premium Lounges. The card’s annual fee makes sense if you plan to visit at least three Plaza Premium Lounges annually. However, if you only plan to fly once or twice a year, purchasing single-use lounge passes and opting for a credit card without an annual fee may be more cost-effective.

    When assessing airport lounge access, remember that lounges do more than offer solace from the bustling airport — though that’s an undeniable perk. Lounges also offer free amenities, like food and drink, which you’d likely pay a pretty penny to acquire in the airport at large. 

    If you’ve got a tight layover or don’t have long to wait before your flight, you may be unable to squeeze much value from a lounge visit. But if you’re facing a long layover or a delayed flight with hours to kill before boarding, a lounge visit may have a sizable impact on the quality of your travel.

    How to compare credit cards with lounge access

    Credit cards that’ll get you into an airport lounge typically have a lot to offer beyond lounge passes, which means there’s a lot to consider before signing up:

    Frequently asked questions about credit cards with lounge access

    How do you check if you get airport lounge access with your card?

    Expect credit cards that offer airport lounge access to advertise this perk on their card’s webpage. If you’re still unsure whether your card can get you into an airport lounge, scan your card’s terms and conditions — you can often find a copy online. Or, just call your card provider and ask.Expect credit cards that offer airport lounge access to advertise this perk on their card’s webpage. If you’re still unsure whether your card can get you into an airport lounge, scan your card’s terms and conditions — you can often find a copy online. Or, just call your card provider and ask.

    Which credit card gives access to the Air Canada Lounge?

    The following Canadian credit cards offer access to Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge:

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